Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday!!!

Today is our little man's Birthday. He is a big 8 years old and I can hardly believe that our "baby" is getting so big. He had his party a few weeks ago. We went to the zoo in the burbs because they have a few sharks and Ian is ALL about sharks these days. He had a great time and even told me during the party, "Mom this is the best birthday party ever!"

Ian, this is you right now:
*You're very much into sharks, snakes, dinosaur's and lions.
*You love to read. "Mom this summer I just want to relax and read."
*You love to draw.
*You are a perfectionist at things you are interested in.
*You are very silly and funny.
*You adore your big sister. When she was gone last week, you slept on the floor one night in her room. You missed her quite a bit.
*You ask a lot of questions and talk quite a bit if you feel comfortable.
*You are very sensitive.
Well I could go on and on. Ian you complete our family and we love you so very much! Happy Birthday to our favorite boy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Running, Jadeite, and Cake

This morning after I dropped Ian with Jen (who is taking him to Vacation Bible Camp), I decided to go for a run. You might remember that Brian challenged me to a 5K this fall, so I figured I should take the opportunity this morning to "train". After I rushed out the door I realized I forgot to put on the appropriate under garments! I promptly decided that this run was going to be a quick jaunt. The one and only thing I like about running is that I can "think" about anything I want. For instance, how will I change my spring decor over to summer this year? What things do I need to get done today. And last but not least, I decided that Brian can take his 5k challenge all by himself. Let's face it friends my legs are not meant for running at any sort of fast pace for any sort of long period of time. Sure I can run, but fast and for a race...I have no desire. So, my conclusion during my jaunt about running was this. I will train, but I am NOT racing. The training I think will be a good form of regular exercise and I am sure Brian will shed some extra pounds pretty quickly. And I will get some much needed exercise.

Now on to some more enjoyable news. I had pulled out my Jadite the other day for a meal, and was admiring it's beauty. I thought to myself it's too bad that it sits in the buffet were no one can see it. So, I decided to empty out one of my cupboards and fill it with my Jadite. What do you think? We actually have another stained glass panel, that Brian will put on the other side. It should help with light, and highlight the dishes. I'm actually really happy with it.

On another note I just ordered a yummy cake for Brian and I this weekend from Buttercream. If you are looking for a special occasion cake and are local please order from here! My sister Elizabeth ordered her cake from Buttercream and it was the best wedding cake I have ever had. I also went to a wedding this past weekend and they ordered their cake from Buttercream as well it was delicious!

I'm also going to pick up a few goodies for Jen and I today from Sweets Bakeshop.

I guess I will need to do some extra running this week...ugh. Somedays I wish I could have my cake and eat too, like when I was in my 20's.

Have a beautiful day friends!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What we did for Father's day

We are very fortunate to live very close to one of our city's most beautiful parks. Since one of our favorite things to do in the summer is have picnics I decided that it would be fun to have one for Father's day. We celebrated Friday, because Katie left early Saturday morning. Katie took these first few photos.

These pluots from our CSA are amazing!
Just like him.

We played a little frisbee.

This is our spot, the one we always go to. The picnic basket was a wedding present and the quilt I purchased at an estate sale for $5 a few years ago.

Can I take your photo guys???

My wonderful husband and our children's superhero.

The kids made cards for Daddy. I found some Father's day clip art on Martha Stewart's site and put together a tag for the BBQ sauce that we made. Oh, and he loves his coffee maker!

Hope you all had a wonderful day as well!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

To: Brian
Happy Father's Day!
Love: Your 3 biggest fans

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spaghetti with Tuna, Capers, and Olives

I really enjoy surfing the web and finding great blogs. In the last couple of months I found Simply Recipes. It is a blog that is run by Elise Bauer and it contains her family's recipes. Lots and lots of good recipes in there. I would encourage you to check it out.
I made a commitment to myself once we had children that I would not be a short order cook. I am happy to say that I have not found myself in that situation. I will also say that we all have different "favorites" in our family. So when I come across a recipe that we all like, it is a keeper for sure.
I found a variation of this on Simply Recipes and changed it up a bit to what I had on hand. I have made this recipe twice now and it gets devoured by my small crew...which makes me very happy.

Spaghetti with Tuna, Capers, and Olives

1 pound spaghetti

2 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves smashed

Pinch of red chilli pepper flakes

2 cans tuna packed in olive oil

4 tbsp capers

juice of 1/2 of a lemon

lemon zest from half of a lemon

1 cup good black olives pitted

pasta water

Bring a large pot of water to boil add salt, and return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large saute pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the chilli flakes and cook for a minute. Then add the garlic and cook until light brown. Add the tuna, capers, and olives, and maybe a bit of salt. Add about a 1/2-1 cup of pasta water and the lemon juice. Bring to a gentle simmer and then lower the heat and cook until the pasta is done. If the sauce seems to dry out, and a little more pasta water. When the pasta is done drain it and add it to the sauce. Toss to mix add more pasta water if needed and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the lemon zest and toss again.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Father's day gift idea

I can hardly believe Father's day is around the corner! It totally snuck up on me this year. We are celebrating a couple of days early here, because Katie leaves Saturday for one week. She is going on a missions trip, if you think about we would love your prayers! Anyways this is what I got for Brian. He has been using a $20 coffee pot for some years, and I thought I would splurge and get him one that he would really love. It probably won't be here in time for Father's day, but we saved quite a bit of money getting it through Amazon. I think he is really going to love it!

For the last few years Katie and Ian make Brian a jar of BBQ sauce. Brian loves to grill and he has loved using the sauces the kids come up with. It is something fun that they can create for their Dad and I think it is meaningful for them and him. Plus it has become a fun tradition!

June 2009

Here are a couple of the recipes that we have used in the past. Father's Day BBQ Sauce and Balsamic BBQ Sauce. I've got my eye on one of these sauces for this year's gift. There are so many recipes out there or you can come up with your own. You might even have most of the ingredients on hand. Have fun celebrating!


The lights are down low, the children are tucked in bed, piano music is playing. I look forward to these quiet moments. Peace, it is something that I long for in our hectic life. Years ago I remember one of our baby sitters telling us our home was so peaceful. Some days, like right now, it is. On those 90 degree July days when the sun is beating down on us and the kids are bored out of their minds and there is no amount of ice cream that will soothe our souls, our home tends to not be peaceful. Those days my patience runs low and school year can't start fast enough. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Many of you are familiar with The 5 Love Languages. Brian and I read this book a number of years ago and really enjoyed it. It really opened our minds to the concept of love and how different people give and receive it. I would highly recommend it! I had heard about the The 5 Love Languages of Children, but never took the time to read it. I decided to put it on my summer reading list, and just started. I already like some of the ideas that it talks about for instance, being pleasant but firm when you need to discipline. Dr. Chapman also discusses that most parents love their children, but few know how to adequately convey that feeling.
I am really hoping that this extra bit of insight will help give me an extra dose of patience on those hot summer days, which hopefully will in turn lead to children who feel deeply loved and result in a more peaceful summer.
Happy Monday friends!

Friday, June 4, 2010


summer 2008 E&B wedding

You may have all heard about the famous couple who after 40 years of marriage is calling it quits. When I heard that, it just broke my heart and I felt so bad. In my mind I was trying not to be judgemental. You never know what happens behind closed doors. At the same time though I was thinking why??? The paper said it was a mutual decision and they had grown apart. It's not like you don't have money to see the best marriage therapists in the world. You have the money to go on an extravagant second honeymoon anywhere. Heck, you could on the fanciest date at the fanciest restaurant. Then I stopped and I was convicted. I thought to myself take a look at your own marriage. What am I doing right now to keep my marriage alive and kicking? What am I doing to keep from growing apart from the man I love and committed to staying with until my last dying breath? Not much these last few weeks. I have been a pretty major pain in the bum. Crabby, cranky, and whiney are good words to describe my personality as of late. Life gets busy doesn't it? Before we know it time has gone by and we can't get that time back. We can move forward though. We will be having date night tomorrow for sure! I hear steak is on the menu and a new attitude is being presented for dessert. Oh sure, they are small things. Those small things add up though. Not to mention that the gift of your time right here and right now is priceless to your spouse, and your marriage.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday!

To my Mother-in-law Ruth~
I hope that you have a wonderful Birthday filled with all of your favorite things. I hope that this next year is filled with joy! Have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An unexpected hiatus

Our Mantle July 2009
Well, hello there stranger! I know I have been gone for quite awhile. I have missed you dear friends. Life is always an adventure in this family. I have been rather busy at work, my computer got a bug, and my camera was not cooperating. Well the next two weeks are also filled with a couple of big deals. Ian is having his bday party this weekend. Next week Katie "graduates" from sixth grade. So, I probably won't be around much. I'm still "working" on that cookbook review as well.
Here is a little bit of the fun that has been happening:
1. New patio set.
2. I made rhubarb soda (recipe to come in a few weeks).
3. The CSA has been great! Lots of great "regular " veggies and some new ones too.
4. The garden has been planted with heirloom tomatoes, all sorts of hot and spicy peppers, herbs, and beets.
5. Mr. amazing has challenged me to run a 5k with him...Lord help me!
Much more of course, I hope to blog about it all in about two weeks or so.
Take care friends!

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